Five Ways to Respond to Teenagers’ Doubts | 7/11/2019 | Staff
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“I still tell people about how great and accepting our youth group was,” a 30-year-old recently shared with me. When I was his youth pastor years ago, “Mike” never took the big step of becoming a Christian. Back then he described himself as an atheist-meets-Wiccan. He tried to dismiss the Bible with all the classic pushback, presenting our volunteer leaders with one doubt-whammy after another.

But Mike kept showing up to every Jesus-centered activity we offered. Friends had invited him to church, thinking we could convert him overnight. When it became obvious Mike wasn’t ready for that big step, we all determined to keep exposing him to Jesus. The challenge was to neither water down the truth nor drown him with debate.

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I wish I could tell you that Mike is now a passionate Christ-follower. Honestly, I don’t know because we’ve only recently reconnected. But I do consider that good news. Because our youth ministry built a foundation back then, I still have an opportunity to invest in him now.

Luxury - Bank - Eternity - Reality - Sense

That’s not a luxury we can bank on. Eternity is a reality, so there’s an incredible sense of urgency to get teenagers “over the line” in trusting Jesus. When young people express doubts or won’t commit their lives to Christ, what are our options? Do we put them in their place with some theological auto-correcting? Hand them a book? Make them listen to a podcast? Or step back and become as hands-off as possible?

I’m still trying to figure that out. But I’ve learned we can prepare to respond when kids express doubts. Here’s how we responded to Mike back in the day, and to all the “Mikes” who’ve moved through my ministry since then:

Question - Answer

“That’s a great question. I don’t know the answer...
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